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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. Generally speaking, the law applies to businesses who employ under 500 employees, although businesses with under 50 employees may qualify for exemptions.
Generally, the Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and
- Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
Check out the Department of Labor's FAQ page for more information of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Oregon Paid Sick Leave
As news of COVID-19/coronavirus continues to grow, you should know that all Oregonians can access protected time off from work. The law requires it. Employers should consider steps to address employee fears, prevent onsite outbreaks, or respond if one occurs.
COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave
The Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board established the COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program in July 2020 to help bridge the gap left by the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act. The program is designed to assist those whose employer is not required to provide sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act.
The $30 million program was established with money received from the federal government earlier this year to help Oregon respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides a $120 per-day payment to workers who need to quarantine/isolate due to COVID-19 exposure or symptoms, but do not qualify for COVID-19-related paid sick leave or do not have access to COVID-19-related time off. This program has limited funding and will expire when funds are exhausted or on December 31, 2020, whichever comes first.
To be eligible for the program, you must meet all the following requirements:
- Work in Oregon and required to file an Oregon personal income tax return.
- Directed to quarantine by a local or tribal public health authority or health care provider because of exposure to someone infected or have COVID-19-related symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
- Not able to work (including telework) because you need to quarantine or isolate.
- Do not expect to earn more than $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020.
- Your employer does not provide COVID-19-related paid sick leave or you have exhausted your available COVID-19-related paid sick leave.
- Are not applying for unemployment insurance benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation.
- Are not applying for workers’ compensation benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Are not seeking or using benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs in Oregon or another state.
- Are not applying for or receiving other forms of paid leave from your employer during your quarantine or isolation, such as banked sick leave or vacation leave.
- Are not laid off or furloughed by your employer.
- Must have notified your employer that you need to quarantine or isolate.
- Can claim only one quarantine period.
Please visit Oregon State COVID-19 Paid Leave for more information, to check eligibility and to apply for this program.